PLAYMAKER
The Playmaker
Let's play
PLAYMAKER
  • It's Tuesday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Melbourne
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?
  • LET'S PLAY
11° & CLOUDY ON TUESDAY 23 JULY IN MELBOURNE
DESIGN & STYLE

This Ambitious Campaign Wants Melburnians to Buy Back Federation Square to Stop Apple Moving In

It's designed to make a public statement against the controversial proposed Apple store — and it has already raised more than $200,000.
By Sarah Ward
February 13, 2019
  shares

This Ambitious Campaign Wants Melburnians to Buy Back Federation Square to Stop Apple Moving In

It's designed to make a public statement against the controversial proposed Apple store — and it has already raised more than $200,000.
By Sarah Ward
February 13, 2019
  shares

The ongoing saga of Federation Square's proposed Apple store has entered a new crowdfunded chapter, thanks to a grassroots effort to buy back the space for the public. The estimated cost for keeping the inner-city area for its residents? A cool $40 million.

In an attempt to stop the construction of the technology retailer's potential first global flagship store in the southern hemisphere, a group called Our City, Our Square is aiming to raise the hefty sum. The organisation launched a Pozible campaign on Sunday, February 10, and, at the time of writing, has raised $216,312 towards its target (and received more than 100,000 signatures of support). It came up with the huge amount by examining demolition documents submitted to Heritage Victoria about the site, and making an educated guess regarding the Victorian Government's expected windfall from the deal. While the true figure hasn't been announced, the suggested price is hardly pocket change.

But even if Our City, Our Square manages rustle up the huge sum of cash from Melburnians, that's not the end of the matter. The Victorian Government would have to agree to the idea — and the crowdfunding page makes it clear that this isn't expected to happen in any circumstances. As a result, the $40 million target is really just designed to make a statement. The group wants to show the powers-that-be just how much the city's residents are willing to pledge to keep Apple out of the public space, even if folks who commit to donating never actually have to stump up the funds.

A render of the proposed Apple store.

Since Apple first announced the project back in 2017, the brand's potential new digs have been marked by controversy. The initial designs were widely panned, and arguments continue to rage over the purpose of the general space — specifically, whether selling off public land to a commercial retailer, demolishing the existing Yarra Building and displacing the Koorie Heritage Trust in the process is acceptable.

An interim heritage protection order stopped construction work for four months in late 2018, and permanent heritage status has been recommended, which would throw the whole project into jeopardy. Fed Square's possible inclusion on the Victorian Heritage Register is still under consideration by Heritage Victoria, with the Pozible campaign arriving as public submissions about the 16-year-old Yarra Building's heritage application close on Wednesday, February 13. Public hearings are expected to be held in April before a final decision is made.

Top image: David Hannah/Visit Victoria.

Published on February 13, 2019 by Sarah Ward

  •   shares
      shares
  • VIEW COMMENTS

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x